LeBron James

We Need More Activist Athletes

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-ESPYs

There’s no doubt America loves its sports, and its champions.

Earlier this week, two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers went on the radio waves in Milwaukee, where he shared that he felt NFL culture and its administration discourage its players from being vocal and speaking out on social issues.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback pointed at the NBA, where players are promoted to speak out. It’s an environment that he praised Commissioner Adam Silver for creating.

Although Rodgers admitted that he, himself, is not exactly the most outspoken, he would like to see more players freely share their opinions.

He had a chance to do just that. After the weekend riots and unrest in Milwaukee, on Monday, Rodgers was in front of microphone once again and was asked to give his opinion on what had just happened.

He said: “I don’t know the specifics about it, but I do know that our heart goes out to those affected down there. This is a connected world. Anytime there’s a disconnect like that, it’s disappointing to see. Our thoughts and our prayers go with all of those affected, and we hope that the violence doesn’t continue down there.”

After digesting Rodgers’ sentiments on the Milwaukee riots and athletes speaking out, as well as, processing Jabari Parker’s heartbreaking essay in The Players’ Tribune on his experiences in Chicago and how he and fellow citizens can make it a better place — I was thinking. (more…)

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The End of an Era

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Lakers

-Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

 

The NBA is going to look very different next season, as two of its superstars are retiring–Kobe Bryant and as of Monday, Tim Duncan.

Bryant and Duncan have been around for what feels like forever. Their playoff clashes on the court during the early to mid-2000s seemed just like yesterday. The comparisons between the two can easily fuel a ‘who-is-better?’ conversation for hours.

Out of the last 18 championships, they amount for 10 of them–five for Kobe and another five for Duncan.

San Antonio was fortunate to have Duncan for 19 seasons. Los Angeles was blessed to have 20 years of Bryant–the only player to have spent more seasons with one team than Duncan.

Next season will have a different feel to it, with the Lakers losing its iconic face of the franchise for two decades and the Spurs saying farewell to the one player that has been a part of all five of their NBA championship teams.

Not only will the league and its fans miss seeing the two long-time stars suit up for their respective teams, but they also represent the end of an era. (more…)

Et tu, Kevin? NBA Free Agency Has Become a Farce

-The Fumble

-The Fumble

Let’s talk about free agency, shall we?

After seeing the events since July 1st unfold in the NBA, one line comes to mind for me.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Good Fellas, you know what I’m talking about.

“F*** you, pay me.”

Ever since striking mega deals with television networks ESPN and TNT, the NBA has a new revenue stream that is not just from putting butts in seats or from selling short sleeved jerseys.

No, it is a river of cash flowing with greater force than the Mississippi and brings richness to anyone who inhabits it like the Nile.

As a result, the NBA salary cap–the one device implemented in this league that tries to keep parity afloat–has grown at such an astounding rate.

The inflated cap has caused a series events that has taken the life out of the NBA. It has made bench players multi-millionaires and has allowed for the formation of a super teams that have come to dominate the league year in and year out. It has taken away parity of the game, mainly because the superstars of the league have control of every little nuance of the NBA on and off the court. (more…)

This is Not a Dream

Dream-vs-ReDream

-ballislife.com

USA Basketball unveiled its 12-man roster for the upcoming Olympic games at Rio next month, and quite frankly, this lineup is looking inferior in comparison to some of the past Olympic teams in recent history.

Yes, this year’s squad certainly has some top-tier superstar talent in Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony, but it’s missing some other big names–LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, just to name a few.

Granted, some players like John Wall, Anthony Davis, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Blake Griffin withdrew their names from consideration to recover from injuries or surgeries, but their presence will be missed. (more…)

Game of Thrones: Underdog City Rules the NBA Landscape

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-Jason Miller/Getty Images

There’s no doubt that Cleveland has been the butt of many sports jokes, but that was put on hold on Sunday night, when the Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in game seven to clinch the title.

The city itself had been known of its poor luck when it comes to its sports franchises. Before June 19, 2016, Cleveland’s major sports teams hadn’t tasted the sweet flavor of victory since 1964, when the Browns won the NFL Championship.

From 1964 to this past Sunday, Cleveland sports fans have had their hopes shatter before their own eyes time and time again.

Since their last run for the championship, the Browns haven’t come close to reaching the Super Bowl. Even more devastating, is the fact that the original Browns franchise was relocated to Baltimore and became the Ravens, where they have won two titles since the move in 1995.

Meanwhile, the rebooted Cleveland Browns haven’t had the same success, leaving the city wondering what could have been if the franchise never moved to begin with.

The Indians last reached the World Series in 1997, but lost to the Florida Marlins.

Then there are the Cavaliers, led by Akron native LeBron James.  (more…)

The No Trade Claus: an NBA Christmas Special

Well, folks, it’s that time of year again: your frantic little brother goes ballistic and opens up two presents on Christmas Eve, your uncle Steve drinks too much eggnog and rattles on incessantly about your corrupt generation, grandpa snores his way through mass, and you just take the whole thing in stride.  Fortunately, to alleviate your winter worries you can stuff yourself to the brim with some scrumptious non-dining hall cuisine, plop your tokus on the nearest couch, and choose from a host of top notch NBA showdowns.  Even if your favorite squad isn’t in action come Thursday, you need not worry; Santa has been gracious enough to grant every boy and girl his or her team’s wish this holiday season, in the form of some Yuletide trade suggestions. (more…)